UN says disability not a reason to legalise assisted suicideAssisted Suicide
The United Nations (UN) has issued a powerful statement condemning the growing trend to legalise assisted suicide based on 'having a disability or disabling condition, including old age'.
In a statement, experts said:
Danger of ‘Ableism’
Assisted laws would legalise a practise called 'ableism' which is discrimination against those with disabilities.
In turn, this would violate Article 10 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which requires states to make sure persons with disabilities can enjoy their inherent right to life on an equal basis with others.
The experts went on to say:
Assisted suicide leads to pressure on the most vulnerable
Even when assisted suicide is legalised only for those at the end of their lives or with a terminal illness, the end result is still that people with disabilities, older people may feel subtle pressure to end their lives prematurely.
The UN experts are Gerard Quinn, Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities;, Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; and Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.
They are saying what we and others have long argued that legalising assisted suicide will put pressure on the most vulnerable. It is no accident that no major disability group in the UK has come out in support of assisted suicide.